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Sony Xperia Tablet Z review

Sabyasachi Biswas | Updated on July 10, 2013

Xperia Tablet Z review   -  Bloomberg

Xperia Tablet Z review

The tablet market, as of now, is just flooded with options. In terms of size, price and performance, the prospective buyer is a little too spoilt for choice. But when it comes to picking out really good 10-inch tablets, there are very few that I can think of instantly.

You have the Apple iPad, Microsoft Surface, Google Nexus 10, and maybe the Asus Transformer Pad TF300, if you consider just the tablet part of it. The Surface and Nexus 10 aren’t directly available in India. So that leaves us with the Transformer (which is essentially a hybrid) and a few more Windows and Windows RT tabs from Dell, Lenovo and HP.

Design and build

And just when I had almost given up on seeing a top-of-the-line Android ten incher, out comes the Xperia Tablet Z, with little water droplets sprinkled on it and whatnot. And while I usually don’t like taking gadgets out in the rain, I’m glad it was pouring a bit while I was playing with the water resistant tab.

A tablet should always look like a tablet – clean lines, neat edges, just the right amount of bezel and not an overgrown cousin of a smartphone of the same design. And the Xperia Tablet Z is just that. We got the black unit, so when the screen is off it’s just an expanse of black. Turn it on, and there’s just enough bezel to hold up the tablet (in both portrait and landscape mode) comfortably without your thumbs obstructing the touchscreen.

The astounding fact about the Tablet Z is that at 6.9mm, it is actually a bit slimmer than the Xperia Z smartphone! This, right here, is the size zero of tablets. At 495 grams, it is definitely justified if I call it featherweight too. Just the right kind of slimness and weight a tablet should have, if you’re looking for one that you can quickly take out of your backpack or sling and start playing around with.

Yes, the matte back panel and the shatter and scratch resistant front glass do attract a lot of fingerprints and smudges, but then it looks so stunningly beautiful that you’d want to keep it clean anyway. Ports are sealed tight for water resistance, just like the smartphone and thankfully the power/sleep button is a little less ornate and prominent than the one on the smartphone.

Specs and performance

This looker of a tablet is also a good performer. Powered by a Quad-core 1.5 GHz chip and accompanied by a 2GB RAM, the Xperia Tablet Z was lightning fast under almost every usage type. It is typically Android – sometimes screen transitions get a bit delayed or some apps take a while to open – but it is definitely not one of those freezing types. And because the tablet comes with a bright 1920x1200 pixels display, and a long, 13-hour battery life, our usage was overly multimedia, the full HD kind.

But while still on the display, there is something that I’d like to mention. The Mobile BRAVIA engine keeps the images bright under all situations, but the colour reproduction is a bit wonky at times. Pictures transferred from my camera to the iPad (3{+r}{+d} gen) looked very different than on the Xperia. To check the consistency, the same pictures were viewed on a Samsung Galaxy Note 8 and a Nexus 7. The colours looked pale on the Xperia than any of our other tablets, in spite of Sony having gotten viewing angles right this time.

But apart from everything that you can do on a typical tablet, the Xperia Tablet Z can also double up as a universal remote because of an IR blaster that comes prefixed.

The rear camera, an 8.1-megger, is just about average and produces just about decent images. But that’s the case with every tablet we’ve tried out so far. The front 2.2 MP camera, however, performed excellently over video calls. I was, however, a bit disappointed with the speakers. They are clear, but not loud.

We say

It’s not every day that you come across such a light and slim tablet, which also doubles up as a full-fledged portable entertainment device, not to mention a shower radio too. It performs well, and its specs are good enough for a good time to come.

It does go a little haywire when it’s underwater, but hey, any touchscreen device would, unless it has a special membrane over it (and is anyone really planning to watch a full movie inside the pool?). It’s a great entertainment device. It’s powerful enough to keep mobile professionals happy. And I think this is the best Android tablet your money can buy right now. Oh, the price tag? I think it’s justified too.

Rs 44,990

Love – Brilliant design and build, stunning performance

Hate – Average speakers, sub-par colour reproduction

>sabyasachi.b@thehindu.co.in

Published on July 09, 2013

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